Season One by Nick Knight for Stern Mode
Born in America, raised in London and originally from Ghana (where she lived for four years) Essie Buckman used her varied upbringing and clash of cultures to inspire her work and brand aesthetic.
From an early age, Buckman was passionate about all things creative, infatuated with art she began to specialise in fashion illustration which led to a love of fashion design and womenswear. She developed a love for the eclectic, flamboyant designer John Galliano and decided to follow a the same path in education by securing a place at the coveted Central Saint Martins. Studying Fashion Design w/ Marketing, Buckman began to explore and expand her skills in design, pattern cutting, draping, textiles development and of course marketing and networking. In her final year Buckman was chosen to show her first collection at the Graduate CSM BA Press show whilst receiving sponsorship from Nina Stewart, Swarovski and Sophie Hallette. From this the Fortie Label brand was born.
Fortie Label is a feisty London based urban-luxe womenswear brand founded by Central Saint Martins graduate Essie Buckman. The Fortie aesthetic evokes a fierce and audacious outlook on fashion, creating that effortlessly cool yet equally over-the-top ‘Fortie Girl’. This, paired with a sophisticated approach to niche themes within culture (black culture, the noughties, iconic women in history) that feed into each collection and a technical sensibility towards construction. Buckman prides herself in her meticulous attention to detail regarding textile development often reverting to more traditional techniques in hand embroidery and hand painted prints. Buckman has worked for Wales Bonner, Telfar, Hood by Air and Marc Jacobs respectively and has cut her teeth at her own brand that launched in 2016. Fortie Label has since shown two seasons independently and has garnered the attention of a variety of powerful women such as Rihanna, Chaelin CL, Jorja Smith, Yukimi (Little Dragon) Kelela and many more. Fortie Label has been featured in many of the top tier publications such as Italian Vogue, I-D, Dazed, L’Officiel to name a few and have built a strong relationship with Nick Knight and the team at Showstudio. Fortie has received sponsorship, support and awards from Nina Stewart, Swarovski and Sophie Halette as well as receiving free PR representation from IPR London following the success of the A/W show. We believe in the Fortie Girl and are delighted at the success of Fortie Label which continues to grow.